Tree Hearings

Trees are typically removed if they are dead, diseased or pose a hazard. Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 87, Shade Trees protects public trees. The removal of a healthy public shade tree requires a public hearing.


Resident/abutting property owner submits request and site plan(s) to BPRD Commissioner/Tree Warden for review.

Tree Warden or designee inspects site to determine: tree size, tree species, tree condition, and whether any other trees will be impacted by construction.

Explain procedure to resident, i.e: public hearing to be held in 2-3 weeks; cost of removal is at resident's expense; and $300 per inch of diameter will have to paid into the Fund for Parks and Recreation before permit is granted. If resident is okay with procedure, then proceed to step 4.

Public Hearing Notice submitted to local newspaper.

Contact property owner with the date of public hearing and that the Tree Warden will make the final decision within 2 weeks of public hearing.

BPRD posts notice on tree at least 7 days prior to public hearing, as well as 2 other public places.

Public Hearing held with Tree Warden or designee in attendance at 1010 Massachusetts Ave.

Within 2 weeks of hearing, notice is sent to owner as to final decision.

If decision is made to approve the removal permit, the cost and the execution for removal will be at the expense of the resident/abutting property owner.

In addition, resident/abutting property owner will pay via certified bank check or postal money order made to the "Fund for Parks and Recreation," an amount equal to $300 per inch of diameter of tree to be removed before permit is granted.

After payment is received permit will be granted.

If decision is made to not approve the removal permit, a letter will be sent to resident denying the removal.